If you’ve purchased your first motorcycle recently – congratulations! A motorcycle is a fun and thrilling way to see the beautiful sites all around Los Angeles. However, you and any passenger you might take for a ride also need to be mindful of how to ride safely to avoid being injured in a motorcycle accident. Among other things, that means wearing a helmet whenever and wherever you ride.
Wearing a helmet isn’t just a good idea for safety’s sake – it is mandatory in California. If you are involved in a crash with another vehicle, you will need to demonstrate you were obeying that directive and took all other reasonable safety precautions. Otherwise, California’s use of comparative negligence when deciding personal injury cases could lead to your being found at least partially responsible for your injuries and losses, even if another driver caused the accident.
Choosing the best motorcycle helmet to avoid injuries
The state of California mandates all motorcycle riders wear helmets for protection against head injuries – and that includes their passengers. And not just any helmet will suffice. A safety helmet, as the law defines it, must have a strap or straps to securely fasten it to your head – either a standard D ring or quick release option will do – and be the appropriate size to fit your head securely without wobbling around.
You should also choose a helmet made of material that is strong enough to protect you from a serious head injury should you be thrown from your motorcycle. The following are four solid materials from which to choose:
- Polycarbonate is a good option, but require thickness to be effective, which can make the helmet heavier to wear
- Fiberglass is stronger than polycarbonate options, and therefore doesn’t need to be as thick and heavy to be effective. However, fiberglass tends to crack upon impact, so following an accident, you will need to replace it
- Carbon or Kevlar helmets are extremely strong, and many consider them the safest option available. However, they are usually expensive
- Composite helmets are made with a combination of fiberglass or similar material with carbon and/or Kevlar. This offers a strong combination of safety, comfort, and durability at a more reasonable price than fully carbon or Kevlar options
Choosing a helmet based on its interior padding is almost as important as selecting the right shell. Most experts recommend two layers of padding – one to absorb impact and the other for comfort. The thicker the protective padding, the better protection against skull fracture, traumatic brain injury, and concussion. You might also look for a comfort layer that can be removed for washing, perhaps in a material that absorbs perspiration.
When it comes to your helmet’s visor, high visibility is a key safety feature to consider. It should wrap around enough to enable your full peripheral vision. Look for a scratch-resistant coating and consider a “transition” type lens material that protects you from sun glare during the day but turns clear when you ride at night.
Contact a Los Angeles motorcycle accident lawyer if you are injured
Motorcycles are meant to be enjoyed. But if a careless or negligent driver hits you while you’re riding, you are likely to suffer significant injuries. Should that happen, call an experienced Los Angeles motorcycle accident lawyer. Attorney Scott J. Corwin can help you seek full compensation for your losses and injuries. Contact him at (310) 683-2300 to schedule an appointment today.